utlaw2007 wrote:I totally agree. I went to Texas. Most of my classmates and most of the people on this site would be bad at relating to a jury and be bad at marketing their own firm.
utlaw2007 - I'm very curious. Did you ever take any courses in marketing in undergraduate or in graduate school?
I can see how maybe a person with a humanities background, who graduates from law school, and decides to open their own firm may not have the best marketing knowledge or skills if they never took a marketing type of course and/or aren't naturally gifted at it.
Although, a humanities curriculum does often foster expressive skills (probably more so than the sciences)...but maybe not directly related to marketing. I don't know.
And, lastly, did you ever take any public speaking courses that helped to develop that area in preparation for trial law work? If a person leans more towards the reticent side or may not be a naturally gifted speaker, do you believe that skill can be developed
to a level of proficiency that would allow them to successfully handle trial work?
Thank you so much again, champ!
To answer your question, I did not take any marketing classes in school. I majored in psychology and was fairly close to deciding to get a doctorate in it like my brother did. I have a gift for marketing. God has blessed me with that gift. That does help. The thing about marketing, though, is to think long and hard about ways of getting your name out there to people who likely need your services. I spent countless hours BRAINSTORMING how to do this. My knowledge now is just the fruit of that labor. You have to ask people, you have to learn other ways so you can evaluate them for effectiveness. You have to talk about it to other people. You never know who has a good idea that you can use. Sometimes, just hearing something not intended for your business strategy will give you a good idea for marketing.
Ah, you asked the 20 million dollar question concerning the public speaking that comes with trial work. I have been blessed by God in that area, as well. My mother is a fantastic public speaker, a minister, so her genes have rubbed off onto me. My father has incredible charisma. I'm the child of those two.
But I also took drama in high school. That's a great way to overcome stage fright. I took a public speaking class while in undergrad. I don't know if it helped that much. I think you get better practice by connecting with people casually in your daily lives. Be vocal. Be kind. But have the courage to speak up and tell your version of what happened if the conversation is open to an elicitation of your observations or thoughts. You will get comfortable speaking to groups of people that way.
Can a person learn enough to be an effective trial lawyer? Of course. I don't think it's possible for someone to become one of the best in terms of learning public speaking skills. I think there has to be some talent there for that to happen. Some people just have the gift of gab. And some of those same people have a gift of explaining complex material in a manner that makes that material seem simpler. But can one learn public speaking well enough to earn a living as a trial lawyer? I think so. But if one recognizes that he/she doesn't have that talent, it is imperative that they participate in mock trial to get as much real practice with public speaking as possible. And if you can't do mock trial, become as vocal as possible concerning casual conversations that are somewhat deep. That way, you get a chance to just talk and talk to people.